Thursday, March 09, 2006

I just realized the reason that I am so angry lately. It's not the news about starting a war this is preemptive and counterproductive, or about betraying our best principles through detention and torture, or about a corrupt government and the corporate media that whispers about it instead of yelling about it.

No, it's about this damn rug right here. I look at it, and it is a thoroughly neutral kind of blue-gray, with long-neglected stains, and I just can't help but get angry! This rug is anything but optimistic - it is a defeatist, pessimistic rug, and it makes me angry!

Damn rug!

Headline: American People, Still Dumbasses

Washington Post: Negative Perception Of Islam Increasing

Juan Cole:

All human beings are the same. They all have the same emotions. All laugh when happy and weep when sad. There are no broad civilizations that produce radically different behavior in human beings. All are capable of violence. (Christians killed tens of millions in the course of the 20th century, far, far more than did Muslims). Few commit much violence except in war. You can walk around any place in Cairo at 1 am perfectly safely, but cannot do that everywhere safely in many major US cities, including the nation's capital, Washington, DC. Even the idea of Islam as a cultural world or civilization opposed to the Christian West is a false construct. Eastern Mediterranean honor cultures (Greece, Bulgaria, Lebanon, Syria) have more in common with each other across the Christian-Muslim divide than either has in common with Britain or the US. And, Muslim states don't make their alliances by religion. Egypt was allied with the Soviet Union in the 1960s, then switched to the US in the 1970s and until the present. Four of the five non-NATO allies of the US are Muslim countries. Turkey is even a full NATO ally and fought along side the US in the Korean War.
G.O.P. Plan Would Allow Spying Without Warrants

On Tuesday, Mr. Rockefeller said he believed that the committee's Republicans were "under the control" of the White House. Mr. Roberts said on Wednesday that he resented being portrayed as what he called a "lap dog of the administration."

"He doesn't know how hard we worked," Mr. Roberts said of Mr. Rockefeller.

Jaysus. Roberts is even drinking the "it's hard work" Kool Aid. That's just pathetic.

Mr. Hagel said he and Senators DeWine and Snowe were "three of the most independent Republicans" in the Senate and added, "I have never been accused of buckling to White House pressure."

Hagel: You are choosing politics over the Constitution and settled law. I won't accuse you of buckling. I will say that you are a toady and a fucking pussy. Get used to it.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Democrats' Data Mining Stirs an Intraparty Battle

The pressure on Democrats to begin more aggressive "data mining" in the hunt for votes began after the 2002 midterm elections and intensified after the 2004 presidential contest, when the GOP harnessed data technology to powerful effect. mining...

Hmmm. Seems like I've heard about "data mining" in the news recently. What was that about again?

Huh. Quite a coincidence.


G.O.P. Senators Say Accord Is Set on Wiretapping

Moving to tamp down Democratic calls for an investigation of the administration's domestic eavesdropping program, Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee said Tuesday that they had reached agreement with the White House on proposed bills to impose new oversight but allow wiretapping without warrants for up to 45 days.

...domestic eavesdropping program...wiretapping without warrants...

And you thought you had 4th Amendment rights! That's so cute!

Apparently, we are all now citizens of the country formerly known as the United States of America (TCFKAUSA). Hopefully Prince can come up with an appropriate symbol for this.

UPDATE, 07/24/06: Over the weekend, I bought a copy of Tom Tomorrow's "Hell in a Handbasket." Right there on the front cover, it says, "Dispatches from the Country Formerly Known as America." I did not intentionally rip off Mr. Tomorrow's phrase and use it in this here blog post. However, I must have unintentionally ripped it off, so for that, I apologize.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

It's a choice, you know. To read publications that are less reputable. To deny the legitimacy of legitimate publications.

And not a good choice, if you spend any amount of time thinking about it.

From that doorway to madness, memeorandum:

Update: Atrios (I think) linked to this response to a related Post article.

Monday, March 06, 2006

On the radio last week, I heard some discussion about Bubble Boy's concessions to India regarding their nuclear programs. The commenters pretty much said that India got what they wanted, and that the U.S. got very little in return.

Froomkin provides a possible explanation:

And who benefits from the proposed pact? Catherine Dodge and Richard Keil write for Bloomberg: "The agreement . . . would open the way for companies such as General Electric Co. and Westinghouse Electric Co. to sell power plant equipment and expertise to India."

Gee. If I looked up campaign donations for those two companies, I wonder what I would find.

Inexpert Oscar commentary

"Crash" was bogus.

A viewer should lose himself in a film, somewhat aware of what the filmmakers are doing, but mostly engaged in the story and the characters. "Crash" had numerous moments where I was bounced out of the story, scowling at the screen, muttering, "no one talks that way, no one acts that way." I was not engaged in the thing.

So there.